Fortnight of Transition, Day 2: Personal Responsibility

2

September 10, 2020-

My mother turned 92 today. In our conversation this afternoon, she sounded well and had enjoyed a birthday lunch. She expressed pride in my having gone to help hurricane victims in Louisiana, a reflection of the stress she always placed on accepting responsibility and assisting the less fortunate.

I woke this morning, feeling a drag on my psyche. Knowing that one of the people, to whom I was alluding in the last post, would likely be the first to want my attention, I was slow to open my phone. Fortunately, I was able to hold the line on his accepting responsibility for his own success, while still offering help in a few areas that he could not have known how to handle . I must always try to be discerning.

Neither patronize, nor disparage. This is a tough row to hoe, as I’ve become quite used to doing things on my own and not wanting to have random people show up, wanting me to solve all their problems. At the same time, I have no problem pitching in to a group effort at dealing with social issues, dealing with an emergency that happens in my presence or doing a helpful activity that is scheduled. I guess it’s randomness that I find irritating.

This is also a heavy cosmic energy period. For the astrologically-inclined, seven planets are in retrograde, relative to Earth. This tends to throw us back, going over old ground. I have done well this year, at clearing out old, counterproductive habits and energies. There is still a bit left to tidy up, though, so maybe this retrograde season will help along those lines.

Labour of Love

10

February 7, 2020- 

With a sneer, the self-styled “chief paraprofessional” took issue with my enunciating the first ‘r’ in “February”.  “It’s Feb-YOO-ery.  Learn to speak AMERICAN English”.  With that, all pretense, that the particular school was operating about the welfare of children, went out the window. I left not long afterward.

Many work environments, throughout the world, have taken to minimizing their stated mission, in favour of preserving some sort of falsehood-based alternate agenda, centered on the ego gratification of a certain few.  Ignorance is, then,  more than bliss.  It becomes the soft ground, on which pseudo-institutions are built, and on which they thrive.

There is a strong team of professionals, struggling to save, and rebuild, a school in which I was honoured to have spent time, not too long ago.  What they face is a three-generational climate of self-loathing and learned helplessness.  That some of these professionals have been there for nearly five years, speaks to the strength of the human heart; to the indomitable essence of the human spirit.

I have been an educator for 44 years.  While there are people whom I will admit to having failed, the vast majority have been helped, by the teams of which I was an active part.  The key has always been to love the child, to not give up-ever, to build the patience needed to counter the worst of defeatism.  As I go about northern Arizona, in this, my last calendar year of being a full-time educator, that mindset has not diminished.

Even after retiring, my battle, with ignorance and antipathy towards children and youth, will remain my cornerstone.